There’s never been a better time to go vintage, with more people than ever choosing pre-loved, antique and vintage options as opposed to mass-produced high street products. This may come as no surprise what with so many people furnishing their homes with retro furniture from thrifty second-hand shops, or filling their wardrobes with nothing but charity shop bargains, but have you ever considered buying vintage jewellery?
There are so many advantages to choosing pre-loved, vintage or restored items, some of which, you may never have even thought about!
The unique factor
One of the most popular factors when buying jewellery is the quest for originality; people are keen to put their own individual twist on almost everything. When you shop high street, there’s always the risk that you’ll show up to an event wearing the same thing as someone else! A great way to avoid this is by shopping in vintage and second-hand shops. Where vintage jewellery has been around for decades, it’s highly unlikely that anyone will be able to get their hands on something exactly the same.
High-quality materials to withstand the test of time
While some trends might flit in and out of style, there are certain styles that will continue to be fashionable for years to come. When you spend a little more on something, you are likely to take better care of it and less likely to misplace it, meaning it’ll trump cheaper alternatives in terms of longevity from the word go. You might sometimes hear parents or grandparents saying ‘they don’t make them like they used to’, and that is true when it comes to older jewellery. Before the years of mass production, each jeweller took time to source high-quality materials and spent much of their time sculpting spectacular jewels.
The gold and sapphire blue bangle and earrings set in the photo above belonged to my Mum and was handed down from her Grandmother when she grew up in Malta. It’s from the Victorian era, and is made from real gold, diamonds, and sapphires. Having something like that in the family that has survived through so many years is just wonderful!
There’s an undeniable romance about the extensive history of vintage and antique jewellery, along with the dreams that they might have once been adorned by a member of the aristocracy or a treasured gift from a loved one. For those with a passion for all things history, you will be able to draw parallels between certain styles as they rise and fall in popularity, becoming popular and ‘on-trend’ time and time again. I always like looking in the glass jewellery cabinets whenever I visit an antique shop; the unique but timeless jewellery styles are so stunning and I love the thought of wearing something that has a bit of history!
Let’s get ethical
Unfortunately for those with a lust for all things shiny, the jewellery industry can be plagued with controversy and corruption, particularly regarding the sourcing of diamonds. Modern mass production methods are also hotly-debated, particularly when said precious stones can be found in less economically developed countries. That said, there’s no need to tarnish older jewels with the same brush; antique stones are an easy way to avoid controversial conflict as they are in no way contributing to modern immoral practice of the industry. Dazzle with diamonds, with a completely clear conscience!
It’s an investment
What better way to look after your money than by investing in something precious, that can make you feel truly special whenever you wear it? Buying antique jewellery is an investment, and as long as you have the adequate insurance, it’s a pretty safe one at that! As a general rule, vintage and antique jewellery costs a lot less than items of similar quality available on the modern market. And anyway, when was the last time someone complimented your latest stocks and shares investment?
It’s on trend
With an increasing focus on environmentally-friendly options, there’s never been a more stylish time to go vintage. Opting for traditional, classic jewels makes you a conservationist as opposed to a consumer, taking the small yet integral steps of recycling, reusing and reducing.
Natural is best
Modern-made gemstones are often such deep, beautiful colour because they have been chemically-treated to appear so. Whilst to the untrained eye these do look quite pretty, it doesn’t take a professional gemologist to spot stones that have been treated. While older gems may have some imperfections, it is this that defines them as vintage and antique, making them all the more desirable and authentic.
If you’re interested in starting up your vintage jewellery collection, there are a plethora of antique jewellery shops in London and beyond, so make sure you shop around until you find a trusted retailer that can assist you in finding a treasure that’s right for you.